20th Annual Course on Religion, Spirituality and Health

General Information

Don’t miss this opportunity to attend our Duke University’s 20th annual Spirituality and Health 5-day research workshop to be held on-site on August 12-16, 2024. This year’s faculty includes an extraordinary list of leaders in the field, expanded from previous years with new presenters and new topics. Even if you attended the workshop in the past, you may wish to attend again this year. Our faculty come from the National Institutes of Health, Yale University, and Duke University, and includes physicians, theologians, nurses, psychologists, and chaplains with extensive research and clinical experience in quantitative and qualitative research. The workshop compresses material presented in our past 2-year post-doctoral fellowship (which was discontinued in 2010) into 5 days, and is the only place in the world where specific training on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality & health can be obtained from researchers active in the field for more than 40 years. Among the presenters this year is Joan Romaine, founder of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Religion, Spirituality, and Health Scientific Interest Group (RSH-SIG), who will give a presentation on the RSH-SIG and participate in the workshop throughout the five days, available to answer questions by workshop participants about funding support.

The course has been over-subscribed every year (see photos and participant bios from prior classes below).  The course focuses on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality and health, and how to develop an academic career in this area.  If requested, there will also be time to discuss individual research projects with faculty — participants will each have 30 minutes one-on-one with Dr. Koenig or with another course faculty mentor of their choice (early registration will assure one of these mentorship spots). May include limited mentorship by Dr. Koenig to assist in implementation of research at participant’s home institution.  Faculty for the course are Dan G. Blazer (psychiatry, epidemiology), Benjamin Doolittle (pediatrics, physician and clergy well-being/burnout), Keisha O’Garo, PsyD ( spiritually-integrated cognitive processing therapy for moral injury), Allison Lewinski (nursing, qualitative research), Warren Kinghorn (theology, psychiatry), Harold G. Koenig (psychiatry, medicine, nursing),  John P. Oliver (chaplain research, PTSD), and Redford Williams (behavioral medicine).

Topics covered include:

  • Resources for learning more about spirituality and health
  • Previous research on religion, spirituality and health
  • Strengths and weaknesses of previous research
  • Understanding mechanisms
  • Treatments for moral injury and PTSD (spiritually-integrated cognitive processing therapy) (Keisha O’Garo)
  • Theological considerations and concerns (Warren Kinghorn)
  • Family and personal issues relevant to religion-health researchers (Charmin Koenig)
  • Highest priority studies for future research
  • Strengths and weaknesses of religion/spirituality measures
  • Designing different types of research projects (cross-sectional, prospective, experimental, and qualitative)
  • Qualitative research (Allison Lewinski)
  • Biological and genetic mechanisms (Redford Williams)
  • Carrying out and managing a research project
  • Statistics and modeling
  • New opportunities at NIH for obtaining funding support for spirituality and health research (Joan Romaine)
  • Where and how to obtain funding outside of NIH for research in this area
  • Writing a research paper for publication; getting it published
  • Presenting research to professional and public audiences
  • Working with the media
  • Developing research and academic careers in this area (Dan Blazer and Harold Koenig)

The course is open to all interested in learning about or conducting scientific research or academic work in this area, regardless of level of training. This workshop is specifically designed for established researchers, new investigators, and graduate students, including those in medicine, nursing, psychology, sociology, chaplaincy, theology, pastoral counseling, public health, or other related disciplines. Non-researchers including interested laypersons, undergraduate college students, and clergy are also welcome. Basic and advanced materials will be presented, depending on the needs of participants. The course will take place in Durham, North Carolina, at a conference venue about 5 miles from Duke campus. For those with  financial hardships who are pursuing careers involving research in this area, partial tuition scholarships are available. Full scholarships for graduate students from economically undeveloped areas of the world are also available. Tuition discounts ($200) are  available for APC members and for members of other professional societies (for those not applying for a scholarship). For others with serious financial problems who want to attend, contact Dr. Koenig to negotiate an affordable cost (Harold.Koenig@duke.edu).

CME/CEU Information

If desired, psychologists, physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and other health professionals will receive a certificate indicating that this activity is equivalent to 32.0 hours of credit, although the participant will have to obtain approval from their local institution or national certifying body for these credits.

Faculty Biosketches (PDF)
Dan G. Blazer, MD, PhD
Benjamin Doolittle, MD, MDiv
Allison Lewinski, RN, PhD
Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD
Harold G. Koenig, MD, MHSc
Keisha O’Garo, PsyD
John P. Oliver, BCC, DMin
Redford Williams, MD

Schedule and Curriculum (PDF)

Recommended Pre-Workshop Reading List (PDF)

Tuition and Registration (PDF) for both 5-day Research Workshop on Aug 12-16 and 1-day Integrating Spirituality into Care Workshop on Aug 17

Directions to Location of Workshop (PDF)

Recommended Accommodations (PDF)

Partial Tuition Reduction Scholarship Information (PDF)

Facebook Page (exclusively for workshop participants)

Course Graduates

2023 Class Photo, Class Biosketches and Photos (Aug 14-18, 2023)

2022 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 15-19, 2022)

2020-2021 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 9-13, 2021)

2019 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 12-16)

2018 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 13-17)

2017 Class Photos and Biosketches (August 14-18)

2016 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 15-19)

2015 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 10-14)

2014 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 11-15)

2013 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 12-16)

2012 Class Photo and Biosketches (July 16-20)

2012 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 13-17)

2011 Class Photo and Biosketches (July 18-22)

2011 Class Biosketches (August 15-19)

2010 Class Photo (July 19-23) and Photo (August 16-20)

2010 Class Biosketches (July and August)

2009 Class Biosketches (July 20-24)

2009 Class Biosketches (August 17-21)

2008 Class Biosketches (July 21-25)

2008 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 11-15)

2007 Class Biosketches (July 16-20)

2007 Class Biosketches (August 13-17)

2006 Class Biosketches (July 24-28)

2006 Class Biosketches (August 14-18)

2005 Class Biosketches (July 5-9 and July 19-23)

2004 Class Biosketches (July 6-10) (1st workshop)

2004 Class Biosketches (July 20-24)